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Embedding Perl in HTML with Mason [Paperback]

Dave Rolsky , Ken Williams
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Oct. 26 2002 0596002254 978-0596002251 1

Mason doesn't aim to be the one true Perl-based templating system for building web sites, but it's led many programmers to abandon their custom solutions when they've seen how much easier using Mason can be. It's a powerful, open source, Perl-based web site development and delivery engine, with features that make it an ideal backend for high load sites serving dynamic content. Mason uses a concept called components: a mix of HTML, Perl, and special Mason commands. These components can be entire web pages, or bits of HTML that can be embedded in top-level components. Shared and reusable, these components greatly simplify site maintenance: when you change a shared component, you instantly change all pages that refer to it.Although using Mason isn't difficult, creating a Mason-based site can be tricky. Embedding Perl in HTML with Mason, written by members of Mason's core development team, shows you how to take advantage of Mason's strengths while avoiding the obstacles that inexperienced users may encounter. Mason's unique features, when used properly, can streamline the design of a web site or application. This concise book covers these features from several angles, and includes a study of the authors' sample site where these features are used.Embedding Perl in HTML with Mason shows you how to create large, complex, dynamically driven web sites that look good and are a snap to maintain. You'll learn how to visualize multiple Mason-based solutions to any given problem and select among them. The book covers the latest line of Mason development 1.1x, which has many new features, including line number reporting based on source files, sub-requests, and easier use as a CGI. The only book to cover this important tool, Embedding Perl in HTML with Mason is essential reading for any Perl programmer who wants to simplify web site design. Learn how to use Mason, and you'll spend more time making things work, and less time reinventing the wheel.

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About the Author

is a programmer, author, and activist with a background in music composition and an obsession with Hong Kong films and the works of author Gene Wolfe. He has been actively developing Free (Perl) Software for several years and is a member of the Mason core development team. For more information about Embedding Perl in HTML with Mason please visit www.masonbook.com, a web site maintained by the authors where additional information and downloadable source code are available.

is a researcher in Document Categorization at the University of Sydney in Australia. He has written many Perl modules of varying utility, about 20 of which are available on CPAN. Like co-author Dave Rolsky, Ken is a member of the HTML::Mason core development team. His educational background is in mathematics and music. For more information about Embedding Perl in HTML with Mason please visit www.masonbook.com, a web site maintained by the authors where additional information and downloadable source code are available.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Book but... Dec 11 2002
By S. Boss
But.. it is a little too short. Not really but I would have loved to have more book. The book covers just about every topic. I personally would have enjoyed to have more examples in each area. They made sure that there is at least on example for each topic. They even give some information about other competing products and about products that use Mason as it's base (for example Bircolage - I think I spelled that correctly). I am really glad the book to come out, it is a perfect addition to my collection of O'Reilly and Perl books.
Thanks for a great book!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Get me to the edge.... Dec 11 2002
I am using Mason for about a year. Then I saw the Mason book. My first tought was: "Why should I buy a book about Mason - The online documentation is excellent...?".
But even the introduction chapters of this book gives you new ideas how to get things done. Starting with the second half of chapter 4 every Masonsite developer should take a close look. He will find a in deep discussion about every Mason feature - and more (e.g. The Bricolage-CMS-Appendix).
I my opinion there is no discussion "to buy or not to buy" this book. The only question is "when".
On the one hand this book can be a bit boring for "new" Mason user and as mentioned before the online documentation is very good. On the other hand if you have your first mason-site done and read this book you will have very likely the urgent desire to rewrite some code.
But this is a common perl problem: "There are many ways to get things done."
I dislike the "Example" chapter. One of the big advantages of Mason is the possibility to seperate perl-code and HTML. This ist not very well done within the example-site.
Conclusion: This book is not needed to get in touch with Mason althought usefull - but if you are really starting to deploy a site I strongly recommend this book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent book Dec 5 2002
By A Customer
From the standpoint of a person who knows Perl and Apache pretty well, I have to say this book is all I needed to get going with HTML::Mason. There are excellent online docs for Mason, there are places Mason fits better (and worse), and there are viable alternatives to Mason. This book covers that ground right off the bat, and I like that.
I was able to configure a couple servers, write up some test components, throw together some quick admin tools, and remake a custom database web app in a very short time using Mason and this book. It may not be for you if you are new to Perl or Apache, but I think Amazon has a wide selection of books available on both of these topics. Buy 'em, read 'em, then get this one.
I highly recommend it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Essential for every Mason user Dec 5 2002
As a longtime mason user (2 years, private and commercial use) I didn't have to think about buying this book. Dave Rolsky and Ken Williams, both core developers, introduce you to the concepts behind HTML::Mason and its many features which really make the life of a web developer way easier.... Even if you're already familiar with mason this book will serve you as an excellent reference. If you haven't heard of mason yet and you're into web development and Perl is your language of choice you should also definitely have a look at this book and mason in general.
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